Wow, I was just thinking about writing about this topic. I only discovered ASMR a couple of weeks ago, and then only because I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole.

So, ASMR massage is a big thing on the Internet. Apparently, people watch the massage in order to get the tingles and also just to relax and get in the mood for sleeping.

I don’t know how I first saw it, but I ran into a whole series of “Turkish Barber” channels. Apparently, ASMR is huge in Istanbul, and has combined with Turkish barber practices, which traditionally include sensual (but not sexual) massage. I mean, it’s not unheard of in the US: haircuts sometimes include shampoos and scalp massages. But the Turks have traditionally taken it to more intense levels.

And now it’s on YouTube, advertised as ASMR.

Most of this is entirely male/male, and to my eyes looks incredibly homoerotic, although I don’t believe that’s the intention of most of the people who run the channels.

I think it’s really cool, actually. I have known of the ASMR phenomenon since I was quite young although I never had a word for it. What I like is that I see a lot of men interested in and willing to be physically intimate with one another in non-sexual ways.

I think that’s healthy and positive. We men don’t get much of that. We aren’t supposed to touch each other outside of very quick bro hugs and fist bumps.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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